Written by Dr. Sandra Niemeyer
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More than just a library: The TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, in Hannover, Germany, is not only the German National Library of Science and Technology and the world’s largest specialised library for science and technology. TIB is also continuing to expand its role as the German information centre for the digitalisation of science and technology, and conducts applied research and development. Its key areas of research are data science & digital libraries, non-textual material, open science and visual analytics.
Local TIB services: At the same time, TIB serves as the University Library for Leibniz UniversitätHannover. In this role, the library provides students, faculty and university staff with literature and information – not only in the fields of science and technology, but also in the humanities and social sciences.
Research and development: What is the ideal way to search through large data collections on the internet, in libraries and archives? How can distributed information be linked more effectively and information flows between institutions organised smoothly? The aim of TIB Research and Development is to facilitate innovative, efficient and seamless access to data, information and knowledge, optimising access. For example: TIB has developed “Geolocation Estimation“, a tool based on artificial intelligence that is able to determine where a photo was taken. Such a system could help detect fake news in the future. The tool can already be used to check the credibility of photos as a source of information, and the likelihood that a photo was indeed taken in the stated region.
High visitor numbers: More than 1.7 million users come to the library each year, with visitor numbers still rising. The library’s five sites are open for up to 102 hours a week. The library at the Conti-Campus, TIB’s most popular site, does not close until midnight on weekdays from Monday to Friday.
A place to learn, work and network: Whether visitors prefer to work alone in peace and quiet or together as part of a group – both styles of work are possible at TIB. Students make extensive use of the wide range of facilities, including more than 1,800 workstations, also for individual and group work, as well as study cubicles.
From stables to reading room: The listed royal stud, the wing that once held the Hanoverian king’s horses and carriages, now houses the Patents and Standards Reading Room, containing 17.4 million patent specifications, norms and standards. The location is also used as a venue for TIB’s social and cultural events, such as the Technik-Salon, a cultural platform for technology.
Commanding views: Visitors to both the TIB Technik/Naturwissenschaften(Science/Technology) site and the Conti-Campus site have great views of the Welfenschloss, the main building of Leibniz Universität Hannover.
From printed books to electronic media: The search and order portal tib.eu provides direct access to more than 95 million objects, and facilitates access to full texts, research data and other media. Although the number of electronic media is steadily increasing, many books still line the library’s shelves. The Closed Stacks at the Rethen site alone contain 3.6 million volumes, older monographs and doctoral theses, as well as microforms and journals.